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Premier League clubs are set to vote at their annual general meeting next month on scrapping the video assistant referee (VAR) system from the start of next season. VAR has been used in the English top-flight since 2019, helping improve decision-making but also causing persistent controversy.

The 2023-24 campaign has seen many contentious incidents, heightening criticism of VAR and leading some teams and fans to question the competition’s integrity. Wolverhampton Wanderers have formally submitted a resolution to the Premier League, calling for VAR to be scrapped this summer – triggering a vote when club representatives meet on June 6.

Wolves stated the move comes “after careful consideration” and with “no blame to be placed”. They believe “the price we are paying for a small increase in accuracy is at odds with the spirit of our game”, arguing VAR has caused “numerous unintended negative consequences” like impacting goal celebrations, frustration due to lengthy checks, a more hostile atmosphere, overanalysis of decisions, diminished accountability of officials, continued errors, disruption of the fast pace, constant discourse overshadowing matches, and erosion of trust and reputation.

The Premier League acknowledged the concerns but fully supports VAR’s use and aims to make improvements like semi-automated offside technology and in-stadium announcements. Removing VAR could increase wrong calls and damage the league’s reputation among Europe’s top divisions, they argue.

 Sweden recently rejected implementing VAR after fan backlash from clubs who are all required to have a minimum 51% fan-ownership.

Premier League clubs have a constitutional right to put forward rule changes, with any proposal needing a two thirds (14-6) majority to pass.


  • Impact on goal celebrations and the spontaneous passion that makes football special
  • Frustration and confusion inside stadiums due to lengthy VAR checks and poor communication
  • A more hostile atmosphere with protests, booing of the Premier League anthem and chants against VAR
  • Overreach of VAR’s original purpose to correct clear and obvious mistakes, now overanalysing subjective decisions and compromising the game’s fluidity and integrity
  • Diminished accountability of on-field officials, due to the safety net of VAR, leading to an erosion of authority on the pitch
  • Continued errors despite VAR, with supporters unable to accept human error after multiple views and replays, damaging confidence in officiating standards
  • Disruption of the Premier League’s fast pace with lengthy VAR checks and more added time, causing matches to run excessively long
  • Constant discourse about VAR decisions often overshadowing the match itself, and tarnishing the reputation of the league
  • Erosion of trust and reputation, with VAR fuelling completely nonsensical allegations of corruption

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